Chelsea travel to Wembley tonight in the first leg of the Carabao League Cup Semi-Final against Tottenham and for the first time in years I have to admit that I am dreading the game and feel that it’s literally damage limitation here.
In the Premier League game at Wembley the other week, Maurizio Sarri played what he believed to be his strongest eleven players that day and it’s fair to say that we were battered by Tottenham. Within the first fifteen minutes of the game Tottenham had already exposed our weaknesses and took control. Quite simply put, our game-plan fell apart and we were made to suffer watching what can only be described as an embarrassment for the remainder of the game.
Tonight, with injuries to key players to which we wait and see if they will be involved in some capacity (not 90 minutes as per Sarri’s press conference yesterday), or if it’s a make-shift Chelsea side that travel to North London to try and deliver a performance as they look to implement a shift in tactical approach to try and prevent what happened repeating itself.
The positive from Maurizio Sarri in his press conference yesterday was the fact that he identified the main issue we had in the previous game – the fact that Tottenham play with two attacking midfielders in behind the main striker – drifting out wide when required – Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. Both have caused us numerous problems in the last two to three years and they will again be the main issue we face this evening.
The tactical shift that Sarri is referring to, bearing in mind he will never deviate from deploying Jorginho in the pivot position at the heart of our midfield, could be to finally play N’Golo Kante alongside him in a 4-2-3-1 formation to provide additional protection to our back-four. That’s the solution as far as the majority of Chelsea fans would tell you if Jorgihno continues where he is. By doing so, it would allow Eden Hazard the chance to play in the number ten role, with Callum Hudson-Odoi one side and Willian/Pedro to share the responsibility on the other side as both are unable to play ninety minutes at the moment. Alvaro Morata would continue as the lone-striker.
For me, Tottenham’s weakness is their defensive midfield position and if you can really attack them in-behind you WILL create them all sorts of problems. Moussa Dembele isn’t a defensive midfielder, Harry Winks is not someone that will fly into tackles as that’s not his natural game leaving Victor Wanyama as the only natural option. If we can pinpoint Eden Hazard as the number ten to force them to man-mark him, we should have plenty of space to play in front of their back-four. Again though, that is if we adopt the 4-2-3-1 formation which I see as the ONLY solution.
Anything different tonight and I believe we have big, big problems here. We need a goal whatever happens. We just have to hope that we can remain solid and not concede too many!
What do you think of the game tonight? Where do you see their weakness? Do you think we can come away with the right result ?
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